The NBA playoffs offer many great opportunities for sports bettors. A team that goes all the way and wins the championship can play a total of four seven-game series. With four rounds and 16 teams getting into the playoffs, there’s a wealth of great chances for the avid sports bettor.
The first round offers sports bettors the best value. That’s because in each conference the first seed meets the eighth and the second meets the seventh. In fact, since the NBA adopted its playoff format in 1984, only two 8-seeds have ever advanced out of the first round: The 1994 Denver Nuggets, led by Dikembe Mutombo, and the 1999 New York Knicks, which made a historic run all the way to the Finals.
Often the eighth seed is destined to be out in four or five games. The same is also usually true for the seventh seed, although the seventh seed might win a game or two. Still, the first and second seeds tend to dominate.
The third seed plays against the sixth seed, and the fourth plays the fifth. These can be a bit more difficult to handicap, so unless you have some great insights or inside knowledge, be wary of these matchups.
The other rounds can be more difficult as the teams tend to be more evenly matched. However, if a team in the initial round has played the spoiler, they may be in big trouble in round two. It’s very tough for a low NBA seed to survive the first round, and even more difficult for them to take the games against their next opponent.
In wagering on the next two rounds, make sure to carefully study how the initial round was played out. You need to consider any injuries that may have occurred, the age of teams, and the length and difficulty of the previous series.
Of course, you’ll also be creating your matchups, which will be crucial to create an accurate handicapping scenario.
Home court is huge in the NBA playoffs, especially when teams are evenly matched. In fact, basketball tends to be the one sport that actually offers a major hometown boost. Why is this the case?
Consider the fact that basketball fans are crowded around the court. There’s no fence or wall separating them from the action and they are literally courtside and indoors, filling the entire arena with sound. That means that a loud and boisterous crowd can influence the players as well as the officials. Always weigh home court during the playoffs. It could be the deciding factor when a game is projected to be close.
Remember It’s a Series
Once a series starts, you’ll need to keep on top of every game. Each series will have its own ebb and flow. Keep focused on the upcoming game and utilize the most recent game in your handicapping.
The NBA playoffs are an entirely new season where anything can happen. Momentum in games can switch quickly, and many teams are able to bounce back from a huge loss suffered in a previous game. If you’ve been wagering throughout the regular season, you should have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each club. These will be amplified during the postseason. Wager accordingly.